2006 Regular Session
To: Public Utilities
By: Senator(s) King
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 77-15-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH REQUIRES CERTAIN NATURAL GAS DISTRICTS TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND PROVIDE THE QUALIFICATION AND COMPENSATION FOR SUCH DIRECTORS; TO EXTEND THE DATE OF REPEAL IN THIS SECTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 77-15-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
77-15-1. (1) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, all local natural gas districts containing two (2) or more municipalities and nonmunicipal customers shall establish and maintain a board of directors composed of: (a) the mayors of each municipality within the district whose terms shall be concurrent with their terms of office as mayor; and (b) one (1) system-user from each county within the district, who shall not be a public official. The county system-user board members shall be elected by the system-users residing outside of a municipality, in the county in which such board member resides. In order to qualify as a candidate for election to the board, each person shall obtain, on a petition, twenty-five (25) signatures from system-users in the county in which such person resides. The signatures shall be of system-users residing outside of a municipality and the candidate shall be a system-user who resides outside of a municipality. The board shall call an election within fifteen (15) days after July 1, 1989, to be held within sixty (60) days from the date such election is called. Those persons elected to the board shall serve until the next general election for supervisors and the election for such board members thereafter shall be held at the same time as the supervisor elections and the terms of such board members shall be concurrent with the terms of the supervisors. The board of directors, including any mayors who serve on the board, shall be entitled to compensation as follows: (a) the chairperson of the board shall receive Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) per month, and (b) all other board members shall receive Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) per month. Only mayors of the board shall serve as chairperson and such mayors shall serve annually on a rotating basis.
(2) Two (2) board municipal/county system-user board members who reside in his or her respective county, and must be customers of the district, and who must be system-users shall be appointed as follows for his or her initial term: (a) one (1) board member from the county lying in the northern section of the district, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor; and (b) one (1) board member from the county lying in the southern section of the district, appointed by the Governor. The appointed board municipal/county system-user board members may be elected public officials.
The initial terms of the two (2) municipal/county system-user board members shall begin July 1, 2005, and shall serve until the next general election for supervisors, and thereafter the municipal/county system-user board members, as described in this subsection (2), shall be elected at large by the municipal and county system-users.
The municipal/county system-user board members shall be compensated as prescribed in subsection (1) of this section.
(3) All board members shall file any required statements of economic interest with the Ethics Commission as required by law. This section shall not apply to any local natural gas district which leases its distribution system to an investor-owned utility company regulated by the Public Service Commission.
(4) From and after July 1, 2004, the Board of Directors of the Chickasawhay Natural Gas District shall discontinue distribution of any of the revenues of the district to municipalities within the district.
(5) The provisions of this section shall only apply to the Chickasawhay Natural Gas District.
(6) This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2010.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.